Thursday, August 22 – 2611 miles down, 662 to go
Another “rest day” packed with activity.
We started the day in a leisurely way with a visit to the ice hockey rink at Bowling Green State University. Tom knows a gentleman named Scott Sloat, and Scott’s son Jake is defenseman on the BGSU hockey team. Jake had agreed to give us a tour of their facilities, so we met up with him and he gave us a guided tour of their wonderful hockey rink, the offices, the locker room and everything. It was a great and informative experience, especially to see some of the past players who have gone on to larger fame (like Ken Morrow, 1980 Miracle Gold Medal Team in the Olympics, Rob Blake, Stanley Cup winner with the Colorado Avalanche, etc.). We met the trainer (“Fish”) and the equipment manager (“Scoot”) and soon learned that nobody knows anybody’s first name on the team. They all go by nicknames.
The BGSU campus is nice and tree-covered, and we wandered down to the bookstore to get a sticker for the trailer (we collect them and decorate the trailer with them). It was a nice interlude to our usual busy off-day. But it had to end.
Isaac and Tom and I all got haircuts as we’re getting a bit shaggy, and it’s a good way to clear the pebbles and tar that have accrued over the ride out of your hair (sorry Great Clips). Kathleen shopped for water and other staples to re-stock the Acadia for Amy when she takes over, and cleaned out the back as it was getting a bit chunky and fragrant. When we got back Rick had his bike outside and was Armour-all’ing his wheels. That bike has it good.
Then Tom and I headed off to Cycle Werks, the local bike shop, as we both had issues. Recall Tom had issues with his front wheel a few days ago and has been riding on a spare. I had a clicking noise that had developed that was driving us nuts on the road. We’re all still friends, but when somebodies bike starts making a noise on the road, it turns into, “That doesn’t sound right. Who’s bike is making that noise. Is that your bike making that noise! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT NOISE!” Not that our nerves are getting frayed or anything…
The bike guys gave us the cold shoulder to start, but Tom did his Thing, and soon they had our bikes behind the counter and were working them over. Turns out Tom had a broken spoke, so that was repaired and his original wheel put back on his bike. Mine was more difficult, but after several test rides, different tightening of various hex bolts, and a re-truing of the back wheel, my bike was back in stealth silent mode. Nice! The owner, Dave, is a former aspiring racer and of course he rode in some races with Davis back in the day. He charged us $20. Total. For everything. Thank you Cycle Werks!
We had laundry to do and bottles to wash as well, but we got it all done. Then Kathleen and Isaac had to pack up and get ready for their shuttle to the airport. Amy arrived to take over the sag, and it was great to see her as well. Kathleen gave Rick, Tom and I a crash-course on her part of the presentation as we had our meeting this evening, and she couldn’t attend as she had to leave for the airport. We said our goodbye’s to Kathleen and Isaac, and we’ll miss them both. Kathleen has been our stalwart on the road, and is always making jokes and singing bad state songs. We’ll miss her on the road the next several days. Isaac as well.
We headed to our meeting at the Bowling Green Care and Rehab Center, a local rehab facility. The meeting had been arranged by Dave Buenting who is on the Board of Directors for the NW Ohio PD Foundation. He had coordinated with the local Parkinson’s group and they turned out in force, headed by Barbara Harris and Nancy Temme, both of whom assist in running the group.
One again we walked into a symphony of people and stories about Parkinson’s. I couldn’t get all the last names, but there were Nancy and John Temme, Linda & Mike, Jerry and Doug Bahniuk along with his wife Alissa and their little girl Iris. There were many other in attendance as well, along with many of the staff of the facility. Doug is a big DPF supporter and we last saw him at the Copper Triangle. He has PD and several years ago rode his bike solo across Alaska. Unsupported. Makes our ride look like a walk in the park. So, Doug has chops on a bike.
We were served a very nice spaghetti dinner and each of us sat at a different table to converse with all the folks. I sat with Nancy and John Temme along with Dave’s mom and some of the staff. John was diagnosed 14 years ago and has some of the PD affects. But he’s in great shape (he’s 64 now) and rides his bike several times a week and trains in the basement in the winter. Nancy has helped found the local PD group, which now spreads across 22 counties! They work to bring in speakers and to train personnel so they get the biggest bang for their limited bucks in terms of educating people about PD. Dave then got Nancy and Barbara to come up and they presented us with a donation of $500! What generous people! We got a bit choked up as then several other people stepped forward with checks and cash. These people give so DPF can spread the word. It’s that important to them.
They all are very interested in the DPF mission and speak highly of Davis, as several of them saw him at a conference a few years ago and found him to be a dynamic and engaging speaker. They all want very much to know more about Living Well Today, and they want to help spread the word. This is a dynamic group with some concerned caregivers who want to educate themselves as much as possible. We gave our presentation and it was well received, and then fielded questions 1-on-1 afterwards. Many people want a copy of the Every Victory Counts book, and several are interested in attending the Victory Summit in Eden Prairie, MN, in September. Tom ended the presentation with The Scoop and got the crowd rocking.
John Temme made a point of telling me that when he gets on a bike it really sets him free. He has a recumbent that he rides as well, but regardless, in his words, “As long as it goes 16 mph then I feel like I’m alive“. Here’s a guy that’s 64 years old and in better shape than I’ll probably ever be, and his joy comes from the feeling he gets when he uses exercise to drive the demons out of his body. All I can do is shake my head in wonder. And there sits Doug Bahniuk, who is going to ride 81 miles with us tomorrow to Wellington. We ride to share the message. These people live the message.
Strong people. Vital people. People living well each day with Parkinson’s. Awesome.